News of Otsego County

West Oneonta

THE WHITES: West Oneonta needs a guardrail

Letter from Nick and Jeniffer Raphaelson White

West Oneonta needs a guardrail

On Friday April 22, for the second time in two years, we had a car drive off State Route 23, crash through our fence, and land in the culvert on the corner of our property in the Hamlet of West Oneonta.

The first incident was due to distracted driving. The most recent incident was due to a medical issue. Our five-year-old and dog play every day in the yard where both of these accidents occurred.

We acknowledge that the medical issue that caused the most recent accident was nobody’s fault and commend our local emergency squad for their hard work. Extracting the car and driver from the culvert was not an easy task.

The top of the car needed to be cut off for the driver to be extracted.

In Memoriam Joseph A. Vagliardo, 74 Oct. 2, 1947 – Feb. 22, 2022

In Memoriam

Joseph A. Vagliardo, 74

Oct. 2, 1947 – Feb. 22, 2022

Joseph A. Vagliardo

WEST ONEONTA – Joseph A. Vagliardo, 74, of West Oneonta, NY, passed away on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown.

He was born October 2, 1947, in Oneonta, NY, the son of James and Dominica (Vaccaro) Vagliardo.

Joseph proudly served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970, with three tours in Vietnam. He received the Nation Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnam Campaign Medal.

He worked for the NYS Department of Transportation until his retirement. He had a passion for model trains and fish aquariums. He took great pride in maintaining his lawns, and was a long-time member of the Elks Club of Oneonta. He enjoyed annual vacations in Florida with his wife Debra, until her passing.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Art Garage Opens BLM Art Exhibit 08-14-21

Art Garage Opens BLM Art Exhibit


ART OPENING – 4 – 6 p.m. Celebrate the 3rd entry in the ongoing art series ‘High Alert, Artists Speak Out on social justice.’ This time enjoy a preview of a 2021 in-progress documentary on the creation of a 9000 sq. ft. mural in NJ and works by 5 of the muralists will be on display on the walls. All welcome. The Art Garage, 689 Beaver Meadow Rd., Cooperstown. 607-547-5327 or visit

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Benefit Run/Walk 07-18-21

Benefit Run/Walk


SUNDAE RUN/WALK – 8 a.m. Support local community center and get outside for 5k, 10k run, or a 2 mile walk followed by opportunity to make your own ice cream sundae, 50/50 raffle, more. Cost, $25/person. Register the day of from 7 – 8 a.m. Richfield Springs Veterans Club, 13 Lake St., Richfield Springs. 315-858-3200 or visit

Dum-de- DUM-DUM




A bit ominously, perhaps, a woodsman from Rockefeller Center (it says so on the back of the chainsaw) approaches Daddy Al’s big spruce a few minutes ago. The Norway Spruce, bound from route 23, West Oneonta, for Rockefeller Center, is about to be cut down.  Keep checking  back for updates.  (Ian Austin/
Only Oneonta Has 2 Trees Chosen By Rockefeller Center


Only Oneonta Has

2 Trees Chosen By

Rockefeller Center

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

“Daddy Al’s” Norway Spruce on Route 23 is due to be cut down at 8 a.m. Thursday. (Ian Austin/

WEST ONEONTA – Supervisor Bob Wood doesn’t want to brag, but there really is something special about the Town of Oneonta.

Bob Wood

“From my understanding, it’s the first time they’ve selected two trees from one community,” said Wood. “The rumor is they wanted it four years ago, but it wasn’t quite big enough.”

With the 75-foot-tall Norway Spruce on “Daddy Al” Dick’s Route 23 property due to be cut down at 8 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday), Oneonta is now home to not one, but two Rockefeller Center Christmas trees, centerpiece of a world-famous  holiday celebration spanning the Great Depression, World War II and now, COVID-19.

“We’re very honored to have been selected twice,” said Wood.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Voices Of The Game To Honor Hall of Fame Inductee Larry Walker 07-24-20

Voices Of The Game To Honor

Hall of Fame Inductee Larry Walker


BASEBALL – Noon. Virtual Voices of the Game to honor Hall of Fame 2020 inductee Larry Walker, the second Canadian to be inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Will also feature Fergie Jenkins, the first Canadian inductee, to discuss playing ball in Canada and earning their place in Cooperstown. Visit for details.

At All-Star Village, No Closing Planned – At Least For Now


At All-Star Village,

No Closing Planned

– At Least For Now

Marty Patton

COOPERSTOWN – County Emergency Task Force chairman Allen Ruffles today said he has been assured by Marty Patton, owner of Cooperstown All-Star Village in West Oneonta, that there are no plans to cancel the summer season, at least for now.

All-Star Village – as well at Coopertown Dreams Park in Hartwick Seminary, which Friday announced it is cancelling it 2020 season – together fuel the county’s youth-baseball camp sector, which together inject millions of dollars annually into the local economy.

Fire Chief: Smoke Detectors Saved Couple

West Oneonta Fire Chief:

Smoke Alarms Saved Couple

Members of the Otego Fire Department on the scene of a fire at 687 State Highway 205 that destroyed a couple’s home. (Ian Austin/

ONEONTA – By the time West Oneonta Assistant Fire Chief John Quick got to the scene of last night’s fire at 687 State Highway 205, the house was fully engulfed, but the residents were safe in the neighbor’s driveway across the street.

“They were alerted by the smoke detectors,” he said. “The wife tried to put it out, but it was just too much.”

10 Fire Companies Battle Blaze in West Oneonta

2 Transported To Fox Hospital

10 Fire Companies

Battling Blaze In

West Oneonta

Frank Allen, Bart Clark and Nate Lowe. West Oneonta Fire Department, spray for hot spots in the blaze that destroyed a home on Route 205 in Oneonta earlier this evening. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

East Meredith fire chief David Briggs lights a flare on Route 205, which is closed as 10 fire companies battle a blaze in West Oneonta.

ONEONTA – At this hour, 10 fire companies are on the scene of a house fire just past the intersection of Routes 205 and 23 in Oneonta.

According to senior dispatcher Laurie Devlin, Otsego County 911, the call came in at 7:14 p.m. for a fully involved structure fire at 687 State Highway 205. Oneonta, West Oneonta, Unadilla, Otego, Wells Bridge, Pindars Corners, West Laurens, Mount Vision and Milford all responded to the call.

Otsego Now Grant Application Angers Oneonta

Large Crowd Turns Out

At Natural Gas Hearing

Otsego Now CEO Jody Zakrevsky explains his office’s $3 million grant application for a natural gas decompression site in the Oneonta Commerce Park (formerly Pony Farm).  At right is Town Board member Brett Holleran.  (Parker Fish/

By PARKER FISH • Special to

WEST ONEONTA – According to Otsego Now CEO Jody Zakrevsky, Oneonta is running out of gas.

“There is no more gas,” said Zakrevsky, summarizing the gravity of the situation.

Oneonta has struggled with its gas supplies for several years, but now the situation is dire. Zakrevsky’s proposed solution: a compressed natural gas decompression station in the Oneonta Commerce Park, the renamed Pony Farm.

Otsego Now submitted a state Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) July 27, hoping to help finance the estimated $17 million project.

Douglas C. Saxton, 84; Retired Math Teacher Wintered In Florida

IN MEMORIAM: Douglas C. Saxton, 84;

Retired Math Teacher Wintered In Florida

Douglas C. Saxton

WEST ONEONTA – Douglas C. Saxton, 84, of West Oneonta and Turtle Lake Development in Naples, Fla., a retired math teacher, died Sept. 9, 2017, at Bassett Hospital after a brief illness.

He was born Sept. 25, 1932, in Cooperstown, the son of Harold J. and Iva (McRorie) Saxton of Cooperstown.

Douglas graduated from Cooperstown Central School in 1950 and received a B.Sc. degree from State University Teachers College at Oneonta in 1954.  He later did graduate work at Central Connecticut State University.

Helen Sokolowski, 90; Nurse Went Into Dairy Farming Locally

IN MEMORIAM:  Helen Sokolowski, 90;

Nurse Went Into Dairy Farming Locally

NEW LISBON – Helen J. Sokolowski, 90, a nurse who moved to Otsego County in 1971 and went into dairy farming with her husband and son, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, at Chestnut Park Rehabilitation & Nursing Center.
Helen was born in New York City, the daughter of Frank and Mary (Cenek) Mahdal on Jan. 17, 1927.

She graduated from St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1948 and shortly after married Leonard Sokolowski on Nov. 7, 1948.


Washington’s Leaving Office

Discussed At Lecture Today


HISTORY – 2 p.m. Learn the story of the presidential election of 1800 and how it changed the United States.  Village Trustee Richard Sternberg lectures on the topic at Woodside hall, 1 Main St., Cooperstown. Info, call (607)547-0600

CYBERMOBILE – 9:30-9:50 a.m. The Four County Library System brings the mobile, computerized library system. Town Hall Assembly room, 3966 St. Hwy. 23 West Oneonta. Info,

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103